Published: 12-21-2021

From let: Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D, M.P.H., Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

From let: Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D, M.P.H., Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

It is with great pleasure that the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) announces that Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D, M.P.H., and Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., will join Director Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S. and its leadership team as new co-directors.

The Miami CTSI’s leadership team will evolve into a multiple principal investigator model with these three distinguished leaders. This transition will ensure continued success for the CTSI as it prepares for future grant cycles.

From its inception, the CTSI’s mission has been to advance excellence in culturalized clinical and translational research – research that is informed by our diverse population. With this focus in mind, the CTSI looked to two of its own program directors and experts in community based participatory research to lead it into a new era – one that positions the Miami CTSI to continue making great impacts in our communities and beyond.

A national expert in minority health, health disparities, community-based participatory research, access to care and community health worker interventions, Dr. Carrasquillo is professor of medicine and public health sciences and associate dean for clinical and translational research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Since 2012, Dr. Carrasquillo has held various roles in the CTSI, co-directing both its Community & Stakeholder Engagement and Participant & Clinical Interaction programs. He is also active in national consortium activities of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, serving on its diversity, equity, and inclusion task force and most recently joining the lead team for the collaboration and engagement enterprise committee.

In addition to the CTSI, Dr. Carrasquillo leads the stakeholder engagement core for the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium, a clinical research network and data trust with partners in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He serves on the Board of Directors of two local community-based organizations – Health Council of South Florida and Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

Dr. Carrasquillo has more than 20 years of experience leading NIH funded clinical and community-based health research projects in various areas including stroke, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, HIV and now COVID. He is contact principal investigator (PI) for the Florida Community-Engaged Research Alliance Against COVID-19 in Disproportionately Affected Communities (FL-CEAL); multi-PI for the SouthEast Enrollment Center of the All of Us Research Program; and has been PI on three Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Stakeholder Engagement awards.

Dr. Kobetz is vice provost for research and scholarship, and professor in the departments of medicine, public health sciences, and obstetrics, gynecology & reproductive sciences at the Miller School of Medicine. She is also associate director for population science and cancer disparity at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Newly honored with the John K. and Judy H. Schulte Senior Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, Dr. Kobetz has played an integral role in Sylvester’s efforts to develop interdisciplinary research and outreach initiatives, which helped the cancer center receive its National Cancer Institute designation in 2019.

She is the PI of multiple NIH-funded initiatives that have collectively garnered more than $25 million in extramural funding and serve as the University’s model for stakeholder engagement.

Her community-based participatory research projects seek to understand the excess burden of cancer experienced by low-income individuals in South Florida and elsewhere in the Caribbean and Latin America. Her research collaborations with the local Haitian community were among the first published accounts in peer-reviewed literature to document key risk factors for cervical cancer between Haitians and other Blacks.

Dr. Kobetz has co-led CTSI programs focusing on multidisciplinary team science and community and stakeholder engagement since the CTSI’s first grant cycle.

As vice provost for research and scholarship, Dr. Kobetz leads institutional efforts that engage diverse community and academic partners to ensure optimal efficiency and impact, fostering research and scholarship that impacts our communities.

In addition to these new CTSI leaders, the executive leadership team of the Miami CTSI remains in place. Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D., and W. Dalton Dietrich, III, Ph.D., serve as associate directors, and Sheela Dominguez, MBA, CRA and Daru Ransford serve as Executive Directors of Strategic Operations and Business Operations, respectively.

The Miami CTSI looks forward to catalyzing our hub’s achievements under this esteemed leadership team.




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